Abrita Kuthumi ’21 is UNH’s newest Truman Scholar
Jeremy Gasowski
Bringing the Daylight
Abrita Kuthumi ’21 is UNH’s newest Truman Scholar

n her application to become a 2020 Truman Scholar, Abrita Kuthumi ’21 proposed an idea that would provide educational resources for the lowest caste group in Nepal. She mapped out a plan offering economic assistance as well as support for students who face social challenges. She called the initiative “Daylight.”

“I named the program in the spirit of how sunlight hits people all the same, without discriminating against gender, income, caste and other social identities,” says Kuthumi, who moved to New Hampshire from Nepal when she was 10. “With the privilege of having an American education at UNH, I want to help disadvantaged social groups in developing countries receive an education.”

A political science and international affairs major, Kuthumi has traveled to Korea twice on Critical Language Scholarships. She also received the Helen Duncan Jones Award, The Washington Center President Council’s Scholarship, a TRIO scholarship and an Undergraduate Research Conference Award of Excellence. She learned she had been named a Truman Scholar — the university’s fifth — from Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Wayne Jones via Zoom.

Kuthumi calls her time at UNH eye-opening. Early in her college experience, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to study and felt lost. Then she started meeting people from the TRIO program, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the United Asian Coalition and the Office of National Fellowships, and things started to change.

“I never expected to have done as much as I have because I often underestimated myself. But now, that has changed. My UNH experience has helped me transition myself from a confused soul to a confident leader,” she says.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was established in 1975 as a memorial to the 33rd president. Since 1977, more than 3,300 college juniors have received the award. Scholarships are given to those who demonstrate outstanding potential for public service and intend to work in the field.

Abrita Kuthumi
— Jody Record ’95